San Jose to Remove Homeless Camps for Trail Renovation

March 28, 2021 Updated: March 30, 2021

SAN JOSE, Calif.—Homeless people who live along the Coyote Creek Trail in the San Francisco Bay Area may soon need to relocate, as the city of San Jose is planning to remove their encampments.

The Coyote Creek Trail in San Jose stretches about 19 miles. Many homeless individuals have made part of this trail their home.

Along the creek, several tents are set up. Less than 20 feet away, there’s a trail that’s designed for hiking and biking. However, there has been less activity recently due to the increased number of homeless people.

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A portion of the Coyote Creek Trail in San Jose, Calif., on March 24, 2021. (David Lam/The Epoch Times)

The city plans to sweep the tents out so the area will be used more by the general public again.

San Jose’s goal for its Trail Safety Plan is to “ensure public safety and sense of security.”

The city has expressed concern about children walking past the camps. Water pollution from the camps is also an issue.

“This is a student’s walk to George Shirakawa Sr. Elementary in Rock Springs neighborhood,” San Jose Councilmember Maya Esparza said during a public meeting on March 23.

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Photos from a presentation given during a San Jose City Council meeting on March 23, 2021. (The Epoch Times/Screenshot)

The city began taking down tents and other makeshift homes and removing homeless individuals last week.

Alternative shelter may be offered, but it will be based on availability.

Opponents of the sweep are against destroying tents and property. They want the homeless people to have a place to go.

One speaker during the public comment period of the meeting said: “It is immoral. There are children out there. There are people who have nowhere to go. We need to help people. We need to know where they’re going first, before we decide to kick them out.”

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The underside of a bridge along the Coyote Creek Trail in San Jose, Calif., on March 24, 2021. (David Lam/The Epoch Times)

A nearby resident told NTD Television he thinks the renovation is a good thing. But if the population isn’t properly housed, he’s afraid they may relocate to another area or highway.

One biker, San Jose resident Bunrith Sar, says he’s never seen any problems with the encampments.

“It doesn’t bother me at all,” Sar told NTD Television.

He saw more tents pop up in another part of the city.

“Recently, a couple days ago, I see a lot in … Story Road, before [Highway] 101,” Sar said. “There’s a lot of tents. They relocated somewhere. I’ve never seen that on that side before,” Sar said.

Even though San Jose is in Silicon Valley, which is considered a wealthy area, homelessness is still an issue despite the city’s attempts to find solutions.

Part of the trail is scheduled to be renovated and cleaned up by August, and the whole length is to be completed and connected next fall.